Bhanu Joshi

Bhanu Joshi, 25, is a governance, political economy and foreign affairs enthusiast who combines journalism, research and community work to advance an understanding of India in the world. He graduated from University of Delhi in 2010 and has attended summer schools ranging from statistical techniques in political science to youth leadership.

In 2010, Bhanu founded Youth for Policy & Dialogue, India’s First Think Tank of young people which aims at getting young Indians into mainstream public policy. He heads the International Relations and Youth Policy Initiative of the organisation. The organisation has carved a niche for itself within two years of its creation.

Bhanu currently works at the Centre for Policy Research (New Delhi) where he works on the questions of urban politics in India along with studies on implementation of the 74th Amendment.

Achyutha Sharma

Achyutha has a decade of experience in Brand, Design, Retail and Marketing. He is a fashion graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi. He currently runs Collaborative Community, a brand and design consulting firm that works with start-up businesses and the development sector. The brand firm has worked with start-ups and other businesses in the area of apparel, food & beverage, e-commerce, and retail brand across sectors. In the development sector, it has worked with diverse non-profit and social enterprises across themes such as education, livelihood, craft, energy, water and sanitation. He also runs Sulochana Development Trust, a charitable trust that supports Creative Arts & Design for Social Impact.

He has been a speaker at Indian and international conferences, a fellow with AIYD 2014, Acumen Fund India fellow 2014 and has been nominated for the Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards 2012 by British Council India.

Achyutha’s interest specifically in the Australian-Indian relationship is in the area of design, entrepreneurship, social sector, arts & culture. He is continuing the Samaanata dialogue on craft & culture that originated from an Australian project. Achyutha is passionate about building brands and articulates his insights under Designing Growth and Design Impact blogs.

Aarti Wig

Aarti is founder and country director of Yunus Social Business India, the Indian arm of an organisation that was created by Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus to accelerate the development of social businesses globally.

Aarti helped conceptualise and create the world’s first Yunus Social Business Fund – the Yunus Social Business Fund Mumbai which she currently manages. Aarti has also consulted several universities, corporates and non-profits on creating social businesses. Previously, Aarti worked as an investment banker at JP Morgan in Mumbai. Aarti has a Masters degree in Finance from the London School of Economics

Monique Alfris

In 2012, Monique co founded Pollinate Energy, a social business. The mission of the business is to improve the lives of India’s city tent dwellers by providing them with access to products such as solar light and efficient cook stoves. Pollinate Energy has now impacted over 10,000 people and was recognised as a UN Lighthouse Activity at the recent COP in Poland. Working across Asia, Monique spent 2 years developing renewable energy loans for micro finance organisations. This led to the inspiration for Pollinate Energy. Prior to this Monique spent almost a decade making the buildings we live and work in better – for us and for the environment.

These projects spanned Australia, Asia and Africa and ranged from houses to city precincts. During this time she was appointed to the Sydney board of management of the international consultancy firm WSP and the board of the National Association for Women in Construction, a not-for-profit. Monique has degrees in Engineering and Economics, is an ambassador for the Living Building Challenge and loves the ocean.

Julian OShea

Julian O’Shea is a humanitarian engineer and not-for-profit worker who is passionate about applying his professional expertise to alleviate poverty and support disadvantaged communities around the world. He is currently the Director of the EWB Institute, the education, research and training division of Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB). His work involves developing appropriate technology projects across Asia, including India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Timor Leste. Julian’s achievements in engineering and sustainable community development has seen awarded a Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation, named Young South Australian of the Year and one of Australia’s 15 Most Inspiring Young Engineers.

Holly Ransom

Named as one of the “100 Most Influential Australian Women” in 2012 by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac, Holly’s passion for driving sustainable change in both the corporate and nonprofit world is truly remarkable. The 23-year-old entrepreneur has worked with more than 20 nonprofit organisations across the world, and currently runs two businesses (a consulting and public speaking business and a leadership development company) having just completed her final semester in a BA Economics and Law at the University of Western Australia.

In 2012, Holly became the world’s youngest Rotary president, and was named both Western Australian of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year. As an acclaimed public speaker, Holly was also invited by Australian Governor General Quentin Bryce to be a keynote speaker at celebrations for the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day in 2011. Holly has represented Australia at summits across America, Japan, Switzerland, Malaysia and Singapore, and drafted and presented a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama. Holly represented Australia at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit in Moscow and is now the chair for the Y20 in Australia in 2014.

Chris O’Neill

Chris is a Director of Hydronumerics Pty Ltd, an Australian-owned, international engineering consultancy specialising in large scale, complex water resource management.
Chris has over 12 years experience in water and wastewater engineering, urban water management, hydrology and environmental modelling in Australia and internationally. Chris is the Practice Leader for urban lake management, working with national and international clients to balance complex technical, financial and social issues in the sustainable management of high-value public assets. In addition, Chris is the Research Theme Leader for wastewater management, where Hydronumerics is exploring options to deliver low cost, sustainable wastewater treatment facilities for developing countries, and also the use of alternative techniques to optimise land-based treatment systems.

Since 2012, Chris has maintained a hectic travel schedule between Australia and India as part of Hydronumerics’ expansion into the Indian market. More recently, Chris launched the Australia-India Water and Environment Network, a bi-lateral funding organisation established to provide short-term professional exchange opportunities for Australian and Indian engineers, scientists and policy makers from all sectors within the environment portfolio. Chris holds degrees in Environmental Engineering, Economics and Finance and is due to submit his PhD in Applied Hydrology in 2014. Chris has previously been a member of the Board of the Australian Hydraulic Modellers’ Association, the Institute of Engineers Australia Sustainability Committee and was the Chair of the Victorian Modellers’ Group in 2012. In 2011 Chris was elected as a next generation leader in water resource management as part of DFAT’s Australia-Korea Foundation Next Generation Leadership Program.

Bede Moore

Bede Moore is an Australian entrepreneur living and working in Indonesia. Bede is a founder of Vela Asia, a logistics and e-commerce support services company operating in Indonesia. Previously, Bede co-founded, and worked as Managing Director of the Indonesian e-commerce company, Prior to Lazada, Bede was a Senior Associate at the Boston Consulting Group, where he worked in retail and public sector advisory.

Bede has also been active in working to develop the bilateral relationship and foster people-to-people links at the youth level. He is the Founder of the Conference of Australian and Indonesian Youth (CAUSINDY), a yearly event which brings together 30 talented Indonesian and Australian young professionals to discuss the relationship. The inaugural conference recently took place in Canberra and will be hosted in Jakarta in July 2014. Bede also serves as a Director on the executive of the Australia Indonesia Youth Association, where he is responsible for Indonesian Operations.

Alongside his passion for Indonesia, Bede has long been interested in India. Bede studied colonial and Indonesian history, receiving his Bachelor degree from Harvard and then an MPhil from Leiden university, where he received honours for his research focusing on the relationship between Australia and Indonesia during the struggle for Indonesian independence.

Hayley Bolding

Hayley Bolding has an extensive background in international development, education and volunteering in Australia and Asia. At the age of 23, Hayley founded a non-profit organisation in India called Atma (

Under Hayley’s leadership, Atma has moved from a start-up to a well respected non-profit organisation engaging multiple partner organisations which impact over 30,000 beneficiaries. Atma has been internationally recognised for the Atma volunteer program and international chapters for Atma have been set up in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and The Netherlands. Hayley successfully successioned out of Atma in 2012, leaving a dynamic local team which continues to grow Atma’s work.

Continuing her passion in promoting people-to-people exchange Hayley has worked across Asia, most recently leading international youth programs for the Australia India Institute. She is currently the Lead for the Asia focused work at the Foundation for Youth Australians, working to engage and turbocharge young Australians’ connection to the Asia region.

Hayley was awarded Young Australian of the Year (Victoria) in 2013. She is a Board member of the Victorian Australia Day Committee, and was a participant in the Asialink Leaders Program in 2014.

Hayley was a delegate in the 2012 Australia India Youth Dialogue in Mumbai and New Delhi.

George Alexander

George Alexander has done his Masters in Business Administration from University of North Carolina’s Kenan & Flagler Business School and Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from University of Kerala College of Engineering. He currently works as Vice President of Muthoot Finance, taking care of operations in the State of Karnataka. He also has the additional responsibility of monitoring Global Operations of the Muthoot Group in USA. Muthoot finance is the Gold Loan (NBFC) – Financial Services Company and is also the flagship company of The Muthoot Group. It was listed in 2011 and is traded in all the major stock exchanges in India. It is the largest Gold Loan Company in the country.

Apart from Muthoot Finance, The Muthoot Group has 16 other divisions, to name a few are Hospitality, Heath Care, Equity & Commodity Trading. The group is four generations old and George Alexander represents the fourth generation. Prior to joining his family business, George had worked for ING and Kotak Mahindra Bank in India. Apart from his work life, George enjoys travelling and the outdoors. He has travelled to 14 countries and enjoys skiing and scuba-diving. He has PADI certification for Open Water Diving and is also contemplating a trek to Machu Pichu in August this year.